Recently ranked as 5th in the HSBC Expat Explorer 2017 list of most beloved countries for expats, the Netherlands is touted as a haven for large, global companies hiring from all over the world. With that global power comes the responsibility for these companies to follow the law in regards to registering their employees properly. However, it seems to be the case that while intentions are well-placed, events like reorganization may result in the immediate deportation of the highly skilled migrants as well as a fine for the company.
As of 1 January 2018, knowledge migrants and the sponsoring companies may find themselves facing strict consequences due to measures that were taken by the IND office to strengthen enforcement regarding The Modern Migration Law Act. This law stipulates that a residence permit is issued, and can only be retained, for a knowledge migrant on the basis that:
- The work is performed for the benefit of a recognized sponsor and for the purpose of employment
- The salary criterion applicable to the highly skilled migrant is met
- The salary that is paid is in line with the market
While most organizations that hire expats know and follow these stipulations, there are situations in which a company reorganizes or moves an employee to a subsidiary or umbrella organization that is not eligible to sponsor highly skilled migrants. If a highly skilled migrant works for Company A and then is moved to Company B, a subsidiary of Company A, that highly skilled migrant will no longer be eligible to stay in the country if Company B is not registered as a sponsor; even if their parent company (Company A) is registered. Company B will either need to pay to be recognized as a sponsor or the highly skilled migrant needs to be working for Company A only. Otherwise, the migrant will be at risk for deportation at the fault of their employer.
If the issue cannot be solved quickly by simply moving the highly skilled migrant back to Company A, a temporary solution would be to place the HSM in the service of a payroll organization that has been recognized as a sponsor while either Company B registers as a sponsor or Company A can bring the employee back to their employment. Even if Company B quickly saw that they were in the wrong and changed their status level to a sponsorship, the expat and company could still be fined and charged with illegal employment, possibly even resulting in a retroactive deportation for the employee.
It should be noted that the IND (Immigration and Naturalization Service) office will increase their visits to sponsoring employers in 2018 to ensure that all recognized sponsors are in line with the Modern Migration Policy. At EMG, temporary sponsorship is amongst our vast array of global mobility services offered. We would be happy to help you sort out any employment issues and questions. For more information, please email email@example.com.